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UK Coaching Team
Coach Developer

The Hard Truths of Being a Head Coach

In this podcast, UK Coaching's Tom Hartley speaks to coach developer and author Cody Royle about the characteristics of the best head coaches

In this podcast, Cody discusses several chapters from his book, The Tough Stuff, looking at the characteristics of the best head coaches and how they deal with what he calls 'the Weight' of the role. Cody strongly suggests that head coaches have achieved all they have achieved already on 'half-steam,' and with real support, the role of the head coach could be the next jump in high performance.

Cody explains how a coach is a high-performance knowledge worker.

Therefore, coaches must protect their awareness, communication and decision-making from burnout to ensure that they are most effective on game day.

One of Cody's suggestions to achieve this is to move from being adversaries of players to being partners in their high-performance routines.

It's also important to ensure that good practice around sleep, diet and rest is followed.

As well as looking at the head coach role, Cody delves into his ideas about how coach developers can better support coaches to be more effective.

Finally, he explains how clubs and organisations can better invest in coaches to help them be successful.

Key themes

  1. The hard truths of being a head coach.
  2. Cody's approach to coach development and how he aims to build trust, safety and rapport.
  3. Cody's suggestions for how organisations and clubs can better support their coaches.

Questions to consider:

  • How do Cody's experiences and views compare to yours?
  • How do you view the role of a head coach? Is being a head coach completely different to the traditional coaching pathway?
  • How do you try to be coach-centric in your coach development role?
  • How do you try to build trust, safety and rapport with coaches?
  • How might you help clubs and organisations to better support coaches?

Related Resources

  • Simon Allanson - Head Coach of British Para-Nordic Skiing

  • Coaching, Mental Health and Well-being - Russ Barber's Story

  • Haj Bhania on Coaching, Diversity and Mentoring


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UK Coaching Team